- 1 hr 53 min
Chicago is a 2002 American musical crime comedy-drama film based on the 1975 stage musical of the same name. Directed by Rob Marshall, the film stars Renée Zellweger as Roxie Hart, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly, and Richard Gere as Billy Flynn. Set in jazz age Chicago, the film follows Roxie Hart, a housewife who murders her lover after he threatens to leave her. She hires the slick defense attorney Billy Flynn to get her acquitted. Meanwhile Velma Kelly, a vaudeville star also in prison for murder, becomes rivals with Roxie for the public's attention.
The film features stunning musical numbers and dance sequences choreographed by director Rob Marshall. Velma Kelly performs dynamic numbers including "All That Jazz" in the opening scene. Roxie fantasizes about being a vaudeville star in "Funny Honey." She also performs "Roxie" after becoming enamored with the spotlight. The two women perform a tense, competitive duet of the song "Nowadays." One of the most memorable scenes is "Cell Block Tango" featuring Velma, Roxie and the other women inmates. They explain how they ended up in prison through stylized dance.
Zeta-Jones is mesmerizing as the glamorous star Velma Kelly. She oozes charisma and talent during her musical numbers. Zellweger portrays Roxie as a fragile, fickle woman who becomes ruthless in her pursuit of fame. Richard Gere is excellent as the unscrupulous lawyer Billy Flynn. He smoothly manipulates the press and legal system to get Roxie acquitted. Queen Latifah has a strong supporting role as Matron "Mama" Morton. She acts as a broker between the inmates and Flynn. John C. Reilly provides comic relief as Roxie's earnest husband Amos.
Set in the prohibition era, Chicago provides a gritty, cynical look at show business and the legal system. The musical numbers take place in Roxie's imagination as she longs for fame and celebrates her infamy. Marshall seamlessly blends the musical performances with scenes advancing the story. The choreography and costumes transport the audience to jazz age Chicago. The film took home six Academy Awards including Best Picture. It revitalized the movie musical genre with its visionary direction, catchy songs, and bravura performances. Chicago is an electrifying, satirical musical celebrating vaudeville, sensationalism and the Roaring Twenties.
Chicago is a 2002 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 81.